Adjusting Diet to Deal With Food Allergies - 0 Things You Need to Know
People can be allergic to a host of different things and millions of Americans deal with allergies of some kind. While food allergies do not account for all allergies that people deal with, they are a significant issue that both kids and adults can suffer from. Food allergy symptoms most commonly present themselves in children and babies but they can appear at any age and occasionally it is possible to develop allergies to foods that have been eaten for years without a problem. People can be allergic to just about any type of food but there are eight specific foods that account for approximately ninety percent of all allergic reactions.
Allergic Reactions To Food
An allergic reaction to food occurs when the immune system overreacts to a food or specific substance within a food, identifying it as a dangerous substance, and causing the body to trigger a protective response. Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and not all reactions will be the same. For instance, a food that may have triggered mild symptoms in the past may cause worse symptoms if consumed at another time. The most severe allergic reaction that can happen with a food allergy is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a whole body allergic reaction that can be life threatening as it can impair breathing, and affect heart rate. Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes of exposure to a trigger and must be treated quickly with an epinephrine injection as it can be fatal. The eight most common foods associated with allergies are listed below.
- Peanuts – Peanut allergies are one of the most common allergies found in children in the United States and are one of the food allergens that is most commonly associated with anaphylaxis.
- Eggs – Egg allergies are especially common in childhood. The development of hives or other symptoms after eating eggs may indicate an allergy.
- Milk – Milk allergies are particularly common in children and are sometimes outgrown. Milk allergies can cause upset stomach, hives, and vomiting.
- Tree Nuts – Tree nuts include cashews, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, and more. In addition to shellfish and peanuts, tree nuts are one of the foods most often associated with anaphylaxis.
- Shellfish – Shellfish includes lobster, crab, and other animals. Hives, itchy mouth, or stomachache after eating shellfish can indicate an allergy.
- Fish – Allergies to finned fish are less common than shellfish. Allergies to finned fish frequently cause anaphylaxis.
- Wheat – Wheat is found in many products including pasta, bread, and cereal. Development of rash, stomachache, or hives after eating wheat could indicate an allergy.
- Soy – Soy allergies can cause runny or stuffy nose, stomachache, or rash.
Symptoms of Allergic Reactions to Food
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to food can range in intensity from mild to severe and can surface in a number of ways. Allergic reactions can involve the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and the cardiovascular system. Symptoms can include hives, stomach cramps or vomiting, shortness of breath, tight throat, and trouble swallowing. Severe reactions can result in shock or circulatory collapse, and anaphylaxis. Symptoms of an allergic reaction normally occur within two hours of ingesting the allergen but often symptoms begin showing within minutes. In very rare circumstances, reactions can be delayed for as much as four hours or even longer.
Once a person has been diagnosed with an allergy to a certain food, the most effective way to treat the allergy is to simply avoid the food. This involves learning about the food you need to avoid such as whether it is known by any other names and reviewing everything in your diet to ensure it is safe. Avoiding foods that cause allergic reactions also means thoroughly checking ingredient labels to be safe. Depending on the severity of a person’s allergy, they may be prescribed medication such as an epinephrine that can be used in the case of an emergency such as a severe reaction.
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- MedlinePlus – Food Allergy
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- Anaphylaxis Signs and Symptoms
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- The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004
- Shellfish Allergies
- Food Allergy Research – Tree Nuts
- Food Allergies in Children
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- The Food Allergy Center
- Food Allergies – Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Public Policy
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Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.